• Bees benefit from coffee buzz

    Even the foraging abilities of bumble bees are better focused with a caffeine charge.

    Most of us are familiar with that morning coffee buzz caffeine-hit– and need it to get started on our working day. Bu...

    Animals July 29, 2021
  • Pretty flowers get more attention

    But less attractive plants deserve to be studied too, scientists say.

    Scientists aren’t immune to the lure of beauty, it seems, tending to shun plants that are rare and have ecological si...

    Nature May 11, 2021
  • Gene responsible for the variation of flowers

    Study pinpoints the cause of flower diversity.

    The huge variety of flowers we know has made them seem very complex, but there may be a relatively simple reason why ...

    Nature December 12, 2020
  • Hops: Something else to grow hydroponically

    Hops prosper indoors under artificial light.

    Plant scientist Bill Bauerle has discovered that hops don't need to go dormant in order to flower. That may sound of...

    Nature November 14, 2019
  • Delicate flower makes a surprise appearance

    Rumours of its extinction were greatly exaggerated.

    This is Psoralea cataracta, and it hasn’t been seen since 1804. In fact, it is only known because of the single spec...

    Nature November 7, 2019
  • The physics of the dandelion

    It’s a masterpiece of flow dynamics, Swiss researchers say.

    The floating fluff of a dandelion is a masterpiece of aerodynamic design, a study from the Swiss Federal Institute of...

    Physics July 9, 2019
  • Orchids shun the sun, sacrificing genes

    Not all plants rely on photosynthesis for nutrition.

    The green of a plant’s leaves reminds us that the energy that fuels life on Earth ultimately comes from the sun throu...

    Plants May 15, 2019
  • Darwin’s ‘abominable mystery’ more apparent

    Flowering plants appeared much earlier than thought.

    A three-dimensional reconstruction of Lijinganthus revoluta, found preserved in amber for 99 million years. Credit:...

    Palaeontology November 18, 2018
  • Flowers that are visually striking

    Flowering plants have been evolving strange forms.

    Flowers are plants’ reproductive organs. The basics of the design haven’t changed much since the first flowering plan...

    Plants March 26, 2018
  • A 100-million-year-old flower

    An ancient flower perfectly preserved in amber.

    The tiny flower above – around 4 mm in diameter – belonged to a tree that lived 100 million years ago in what was the...

    Palaeontology February 5, 2018
  • The first ever flower looked like a magnolia

    Scientists have figured out what the original flower ancestor looked like.

    Credit: Hervé Sauquet & Jürg Schönenberger Although most species of plants on Earth have flowers, the evolutionary ...

    Biology August 7, 2017
  • Saving cut flowers with science

    Handy tips to maximise freshness and make them last longer.

    For some countries, after April showers come May flowers, and many celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday. If you're thinki...

    Chemistry May 6, 2016